Bus Tire Blowout Crash Risk

When a bus crash is caused by a tire blowout, evidence of overloading can be used in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the driver and company. Contact our law firm for a free consultation, and talk to one of our experienced lawyers.

Federal Government Looks at Overloading as Cause of Bus Tire Blowouts

According to the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) some motorcoach buses are being loaded with high numbers of passengers and their associated baggage, potentially resulting in loads that are near the safety capacity of the bus tires. “Bus companies have a responsibility to their customers to provide safe transportation,” said Attorney Fred Pritzker, who has won millions for accident victims and their families. ” There is no excuse for overloading a bus beyond the tire load capacity and causing a blowout.” If a bus tire blowout causes an accident involving personal injury or wrongful death, and there is evidence of a pattern of overloading, victims and their families may have claims for punitive damages.

You can contact Fred here for a free consultation regarding a bus accident lawsuit.

Bus operators must consider the maximum tire load capacity, adequate speed rating, and an adequate safety margin when carrying maximum passenger and luggage loads. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, 49 C.F.R. § 393.75, prohibit motorcoaches from carrying a weight greater than that marked on the tire and prohibit operating a motorcoach with damaged or worn tires. Our bus accident lawyers will independently investigate a bus accident for you and look for evidence of tire damage.

According to FMCSA, recent investigations suggest that double-decker buses may be susceptible to overloading. One common configuration utilizes three axles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of between 53,000 and 61,000 pounds. A fully loaded double deck motorcoach at or near the maximum number of passengers and a maximum luggage load could exceed this GVWR, one or more gross axle weight limits, or the tire weight ratings, according to FMCSA.

In August of this year in Illinois, a Megabus (double decker) crashed into a concrete pillar when a front tire blew out. One passenger was killed and several were injured.

Safety demands that operators of these motorcoaches have policies and procedures in place to monitor the loading of their vehicles, and take appropriate action (such as reduce passenger/cargo loading or increase tire pressure) to ensure that they remain within the allowable tire weight rating and State vehicle weight limits. A bus tire loaded beyond its weight rating, operated at highway speeds for a significant period of time, is more likely to overheat and fail, possibly placing the lives of passengers and other motorists at risk.

Due to this serious safety concern, FMCSA may declare those carriers and/or their vehicles that have violated the tire loading restrictions to be an imminent hazard and, as such, place them immediately out-of-service pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 521.

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Category: Accidents
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